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grandpinaple

join:2006-01-03
New York, NY

[TWC] What's the optical port for? AND HDMI vs Component?

1)I have one on my cable box. I also have one on my TV. Is this for sound only or can video be pumped through it as well.

My sound tuner also has an optical port. If I just used optical between cable box and sound tuner would I get Dolby Digital 5.1 surround?

2) HDMI vs Component? which is better quality. I see cheap HDMI cables on newegg and want to lighten the thickness of wires in my tangled TV area.



MacLeech
The one and only
Premium
join:2001-07-14
SoCal
kudos:3

1 edit

Optical port is audio only. It outputs Digital 5.1 sound if the channel carries it, which is usually HD channels only on certain programs.

HDMI eliminates one of the digital to analog to digital conversions, BUT it introduces HDCP copy protection and other control signaling which doesn't always work reliably in some equipment combinations. So HDMI should be slightly better in quality, but the hassle it can create may out weight it's benefits.



rv65
Premium
join:2008-08-02
USA!!!!
kudos:1

The latest version of Navigator has the HDMI bug fixed.



jay_bob

join:2004-03-12
Columbia, SC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·AT&T Southeast
reply to grandpinaple

Just to clarify (assuming SA 8300 family converter):
Like MacLeech said, The optical port is for digital audio only. However, it will work for audio on all channels not just the HD ones.
I am running HDMI to my TV and I have had mixed results.
I like the way the TV communicates with the box and automatically resizes the picture automatically.
However sometimes it seems buggy and the TV will lock up when switching between SD and HD channels.
I am running HDMI however I have an older receiver that has optical but not HDMI, so I am using the HDMI for picture up to the TV and optical for the audio to the receiver. I have a Logitech Harmony that keeps everything straight when switching sources.